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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Dobbs Ferry Budget Proposes Increased Tax Rate

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Although the tentative Dobbs Ferry budget calls for a tax rate increase, the lone resident to comment on the plan Tuesday spoke glowingly about the process.

“I think the whole process of the budget has been very transparent,” said Bob McLaughlin, a member of the budget advisory committee.  “There are not many villages that allow a citizens budget committee.  It’s very refreshing.”

The tentative recommended budget calls for a tax levy increase of 1.43 percent, which factors out to a tax rate increase of 3.22 percent.  The tentative budget is $16,026,709, compared to $15,513,778 from the previous year.

Village Administrator Marcus Serrano said the change is mainly due to a couple of factors.

“A lot of it is mainly due to certioraris and reduction in tax assessments,” he said. “We have to increase taxes.”

In a message sent to residents, Mayor Hartley Connett pointed to the lower tax assessments due to a record number certiorari and grievance awards over the past few years.  He mentioned that the tax rate is negatively impacted by additional money the village is required to contribute to the state pension fund system as well.

Serrano also said the village was not taxing residents too much or too little and he feels that it is just right.

“I consider this the most important part of my job,” he said.  “Public trust with money spent from public taxpayers.”

With revenue and expenditures closer together in recent years, Connett said it has to do with a specific plan the village has laid out.

“This board did adopt two years ago a pretty strict fund balance policy,” he said.  “Now it’s sort of decided for us, it makes for a better plan.”

Connett said this plan helps decide where funds go rather than arbitrarily banking money or giving back to the village.

The board of trustees will look to approve and adopt the budget at its April 24 meeting.  Connett said the process of the budget has been a good way of keeping the public informed of where their money goes.

“It’s a good view of just seeing how much things cost and what it takes to run a village,” he said.

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